After having my last ever university exam on the 17 April, I rushed down to the airport to catch my flight to the Gold Coast. Domestic flights in Australia only require 30 minutes check in time and have no specially designated counters for specific flights. Check in was quick and efficient, however, it could have been quicker if I had purchased my ticket on my own credit card, because it would have then allowed me to utilise their E-ticket/Quick check-in (not sure what is it called) whereby you swipe the credit card used to purchase the ticket at a stand, and a ticket will be issued.
Airline: Qantas Airways
Flight: QF 856
Boarding commenced about 1930 where the boarding pass was checked and a headphone was given. Then, we were greeted by the purser or flight supervisor. He was different because he wore a pin-striped suit, whereas the other male FAs simply wore a black suit. Including the supervisor, there were 4 FAs (3 male, 1 female). The safety demo was done during taxi by 2 FAs, 1 male 1 female. Not long later, we were taking off.
The interior of QF's 737 are quite new and pleasant. There was 3 rows ( I think) of Business Class at the front, however, they were not seperated by a curtain, like those on MH aircrafts. I also noticed that row11 was more spacious because it was the emegency exti row. This particular QF 734 had tv screens mounted at the top of the cabin ceiling. A while after take off, we wer offered newspapers, followed by a box containing half a ham and cheese role, a mini chocolate bar, water, a stirrer pack and an empty cup to tea or coffee. The roll was hard and dry, but I didn't expect anything more than that since it was a short domestic flight. During the flight, Just Shoot Me was aired on the screen, followed by a documentary on Norah Jones. I felt that the short TV features significantly shortened the time of the flight.
The flight was dissappointingly smooth with no bumps or turbulence although I anticipated some due to bad weather. However, during landing, I was attacked by a seriously severe headache, which made my forehead feel like it was about to explode. This carried on up till we landed and taxiied halfway to to the terminal. I could see that I was not the only one since there were others who were rubbing their forehead.
Reaching Coolongatta, we disembarked by stairs and walked to the terminal. I rate this flight higher than my expectations, because honestly, I did not have high expectations for Qantas from my past experiences. In addition, the flights I had with Qantas were all international flights, and they were bad, to say the least. This flight was pleasant in all aspects from check in to disembarking, and worth every cent I paid for.
Airline: QantasLink (Operated by Impulse)
Flight: QF 1707
The flight back to Sydney represented the end of my trip, making me not want to take the flight. This resulted in an extreme rush to the airport. My hotel, at Surfers Paradise was 25 to 30 minutes from the airport, and me and my friends said our good byes and see yous and photo sessions at 12.40pm. I finally made my move at around 12.45 and realised that the trafiic out was quite bad because easter was ending and there was a mini rush of traffic goung out of QLD. Anyhow, I began to panic when it was 13.15 and I was still approximately 5 minutes from the airport, taking into consideration of the heavy trafic. I decided to ring 13 13 13, and surprisingly, after 1 miunute, I was answered by a real person. I related my situation to the operator, and she said she'll let the staff know I am running late and not to worry. I got to the airport, literally jumped out of the car and ran towards the counters. Before I got to the counter, the staff closest to the Gates screamed out my name and waved a boarding pass at me. I apologised for my tardiness and she smiled and simply said take your time, you have 1 minute. I felt a bit more relaxed then were relaxed. After taking the boarding pass, I walked into the gate, got checked etc, and walked right on to the tarmac towards the 717-200. I was the last one to board, and I was allocated the last seat on the aircraft.
I was greeted by a male FA (supervisor) who was working with 3 other female FAs. The layout of this flight was 2-3 and had no TV or any other forms of entertainment. No newspapars were provided througout the flights, but colouring books were handed out to kids.
The window of Row 24 was situtation beside the Seat of row 23. It did not matter much because the only thing you can see out of that window was the aircraft engine. Even the window of Row 23 was semi blocked by the engine.
Take off was smooth and relatively quiet, and there was a few minor bumps during the ascend. 20 minutes after take off, the same box was served. It was the exact same meal except this time, the ham and cheese roll was soft and had mustard in it, and the chocolate bar beacme an Easter Egg. Tea and coffee was once again offered while beers and spirits were sold for cash.
Uneventfully, the flight began its descend into Sydney. We landed right on scehdule and taxiied to the terminal. Overall, it was an impressive flight/experience with good customer service. I thought that it could perhaps be because it was a short flight on a new aircraft. I would probably try them on an international flight, provided it is not on their 767.
Overall rating: 8.5/10